Aud Schønemann er død

En av mine favorittmennesker, en skuespiller som fikk folk til å le bare ved å kifte et par ansiktsutrykk, har gått bort ... dette var sørgelige nyheter må jeg si!

Et anderledes syn på verden

Det gjelder drapet på den russiske journalisten Anna Politkovskaya. Artikkelen som følger presenterer et syn på dette som er så fundamentalt anderledes enn alt annet jeg har lest. Ikke sikker på om jeg er enig med skribenten, men artikkelen er tankevekkende ... nok til at den burde leses!

Where Is America's Politkovskaya?


By Mark Ames ( editor@exile.ru)

The murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was one of those horrible events which trigger the worst in everyone, when all the wrong lessons are drawn, and all the spite and savagery explode. Even by the 21st century's already sub-vile standards, her assassination managed to inspire an entirely new level of hysteria, opportunism and tactlessness so sphincter-twisting that it makes you wonder if it wouldn't just be better to hand the entire Judeo-Christian world over to the Chinese now, rather than waiting another agonizing 20 years. At least the Chinese have tact, for chrissakes.

On one side of the Global Toilet was President Putin, normally an impressive politician, but who, at critical times, cannot contain his own viciously raw vanity. By keeping silent for two days after her murder, and then finally speaking out only to minimize her importance, Putin came off looking like a regular asshole. Leaving aside for now the issue of whether or not Putin was "right" in minimizing Politkovskaya's importance in Russia -- technically he was largely "correct" -- what mattered was what his nasty reaction revealed about his character. Any skilled politician would have swallowed his petty grudges and embraced her corpse, squeezing out of it as much political capital as possible. This isn't rocket science stuff -- it's just cynical politicking 101, and it's the right thing to do. Why did Putin's normally adept bloodless skills fail him on this occasion? I think for the same reason that Bush fled from the battle scene on 9/11, snagglepussing at Mach-3 to a snakehole in Nebraska until the coast was long clear, rather than flying straight from Florida to DC and looking the part of the fearless hero. He couldn't help himself. Big, unexpected events reveal the smallness in our leaders.

Most Russians I know reacted somewhere between indifference and mild disgust at the murder. But if you read the Russian internet, you'd realize that Putin came off as a weepy liberal: a good part of the "active" community only wished that Politkovskaya had been killed far more slowly, much sooner, and that they could have perhaps been part of the hit team who did it. Nice, really fucking nice.

On the other side -- the side that matters far more to me -- was the West. Unlike Putin, the Western media wasted no time in seizing Politkovskaya's corpse for their own purposes, parading it around and milking it for every ounce it was worth.

What exactly was Anna Politkovskaya's bullet-riddled corpse worth to the West? No surprise here: A juicy opportunity to demonize Putin and Russia.

Immediately after her murder, Reuters showed how her death was going to be spun with the headline, "Outspoken Putin Critic Shot Dead In Moscow." The implication was obvious: Putin ordered it.

Articles noted that she was killed on Putin's birthday, implying that it was a gift to himself. On the eve of his visit to Germany to close a big energy contract. Can you imagine Putin actually ordering the hit on his birthday, just before meeting Merkel for a key energy summit? "Okay, here's the plan, Sechin. I want you to kill Politkovskaya. I know, it's true that her articles have almost no effect on our policies in Chechnya and are ignored by all but a small percentage of liberal Russians, but so what. Oo, she makes me so angry! Once she's out of the way, my grip on power will finally be secured. Mwah-hah-hah! But wait, that's not all. Oh no, I'm much more dastardly than that. See, I'm not asking for much for my birthday, Sechin. Forget the Bulgari watches that you guys give me every year. I want her corpse brought to me with a big red birthday bow tied around it. I want to kill her on my birthday, just before my big meeting in Germany. They'll understand. After all, they're Germans. You know--Nazis, just like me! Deal? Yeah? Oh, goodie! I'm so deliciously evil, even Stewie would envy me. Why, this is going to be the best birthday of my life! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!..."

But that was just the beginning. The notoriously Russophobic Fred Hiatt at the Washington Post published an editorial that more directly implicated Putin: "It is quite possible, without performing any detective work, to say what is ultimately responsible for these deaths: It is the climate of brutality that has flourished under Mr. Putin."

This is a cheap way of saying that Putin is responsible, but like most Russia-haters, they leave out some obvious contradictions. Such as, for example, is Putin also responsible for the hit on Paul Klebnikov, who was profoundly pro-Putin? And what about all the journalists murdered during Yeltsin's tenure? Did Hiatt or any of the others ever blame Yeltsin -- the one who truly introduced the brutality, corruption and lawlessness into Russia? No, of course not, because Yeltsin did The West's bidding. Crimes committed while being pro-American simply do not exist.

Anne Applebaum, one of the Post's resident neocons, went the extra sleazy mile when she got ahold of Politkovskaya's corpse. In her October 9th column, "A Moscow Murder Story," Applebaum simply lied about the circumstances of her murder, and quite consciously so, when she essentially blamed Klebnikov's inconvenient death, as well as other provincial journalists killed for investigating local corruption, on Putin. Interestingly, in her article she openly narrows her focus on "journalists killed after 2000" -- gee, how convenient. Because that means she wouldn't have to mention all the journalists killed during Yeltsin's term, since that would muddy up the good/evil picture that her entire thesis rests on.

Applebaum is a special case, one of those moral crusaders, the American Anna Politkovskaya, who has made a living courageously exposing state crimes committed by...get this...not her own country, oh heck no! Because her own country only does good! Nope, Anne Applebaum makes her living by sitting in the safety of Washington DC, and exposing crimes committed by a country on the other side of the globe! That country being Russia of course. Hey, give that woman a Pulitzer, will ya?! Hence her book Gulag, packed with all the affected moral outrage that you'd expect. Indeed, one thing that has always filled Applebaum with rage is wondering why Russians don't take her seriously (a question she poses as more abstract -- ie, why don't Russians care about the Gulags as much as Anne does?). Here's why: Can you imagine how much moral authority a right-wing Russian journalist's book about the American genocide of Indians would have in America? Answer: about as much as Anne's book has in Russia. None.

Yes, it's dangerous work to dedicate your life to exposing the horrors committed by a country that your husband hates. Applebaum's husband is Poland's right-wing Defense Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, who also serves in the neocon American Enterprise Institute, the same institute that essentially invented the current Iraq war. The current government that Sikorski serves in, by the way, includes the extreme right-wing party The League of Polish Families, leading to protests from Israel because of the party's open anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and its notorious skinhead youth group. But that's okay by Anne, because Poland likes America and is a member of the Coalition of the Willing. Meaning no hissy articles from Anne Applebaum about her husband's pals or Poland's repulsive history of Jewish slaughter. Nor will you read too many articles by Applebaum about her own country's atrocious crimes committed in Iraq, and the hundreds of thousands her government has killed.

No person could be as far from Politkovskaya as Anne Applebaum. Given all of Applebaum's influence and access, she only uses that power to demonize Russia and whitewash America's fascism. Politkovskaya, on the other hand, speaking from extreme weakness and danger, used what little influence she had to risk all for the victims of her own goverment's cruelty, fighting from within.

Easily the most absurd Politkovskaya article was by the notorious Brit hack Olga Craig, in her piece in the Sunday Telegraph titled "Cross Putin And Die." It begins with an obviously manufactured story of a terrified small-time journalist supposedly fleeing for his life from Putin's Russia -- the invented journalist is given a pseudonym, "Zakayev," he's apparently so scared... and from there, well, you can fill in the blanks yourself. His alleged crime is that he criticized the disgusting crackdown on ethnic Georgians--and yet, there was vicious open criticism of the crackdown as fascistic all over the Russian print and internet media. But supposedly, this guy had to flee for his life -- "Now 'Zakayev' is convinced that someone, most probably a hired hitman with links to the Kremlin, is already stalking his movements." It's pure cartoon bullshit, one of the worst made-up hack stories you'll read in your life.

But the knockout blow was yet to be delivered. Politkovskaya's corpse could not be buried before the Western press squeezed it for the biggest prize of all: Pure, total demonization. The "F" word. Yes, the Economist declared, "It is an over-used word, and a controversial one, especially in Russia. It is not there yet, but Russia sometimes seems to be heading towards fascism."

If Fascism means gas chambers, then all talk of it is utterly meaningless and empty--it's the most over-abused epithet, and simply by acknowledging that doesn't excuse the Economist of rank historial distortion. However, if "Fascism" means what I think they mean -- violence and lies and hate -- then America, which used a lie as a pretext to invade a country on the other side of the globe, completely leveled a city of 300,000, and killed half a million citizens, all the while violently suppressing the truth and anyone who tries to get it out -- is guilty as charged.


The West has used poor Anna Politkovskaya's corpse to do exactly what she fought against: whipping up national hatred, lying, and focusing on evils committed safely far away, rather than on the evils committed by your own country. The West has exploited her death with all of the crudity and cynicism of an Arab mob funeral...only at least the Arabs use their own people's corpses to demonize an enemy that actually kills them. Whereas in this case, the West stole another country's corpse, then paraded it at home in order to whip up hatred against the corpse's birthplace. It would be like the Palestinians slipping into Tel Aviv, grave-robbing Rabin's corpse after his murder, then parading it around Gaza City, ululating hate towards Israel for allowing the great peacemaker to get killed.

That's kind of how Russians reacted when they saw that the West crudely exploited Politkovskaya's murder. The West's crude reaction only increased Russia's crude counter-reaction...

If you ask me, what is most significant for us in the West about Anna Politkovskaya's death, and her courageous life (btw, a big "fuck you" to our nationalist readers who don't agree with this), is not so much what it says about Russia -- it doesn't say much new at all, to be honest, but instead is another chapter in an increasingly depressing story that started under Yeltsin.

Rather, what is significant about her death is this: Why doesn't America have an Anna Politkovskaya? Why don't we have someone as courageous as she was to tell the story of how we razed Fallujah to the ground Grozny-style? How we bombed to smithereens and ethnically cleansed a city of 300,000 people in retaliation for the deaths of four American contractors? Where is the American Anna Politkovskaya who will tell us about how we directly killed roughly 200,000 Iraqis, and indirectly are responsible for about half a million Iraq deaths since our invasion? Why isn't there a single American willing to risk almost certain death, the way Politkovskaya did, in the pursuit of truth and humanity?

One reason why is because they risk getting killed not only by Iraqi insurgents and Al Qaeda terrorists, but also by the highly efficient American forces. (Not that this stopped Politkovskaya, but it stops America's righteous Politkovskaya-bearers.) And even if they get the story out, it gets quashed by the mainstream press, you lose your job, and you get met by a hostile, even bloodthirsty public who doesn't want to hear about it.

Take the case of Yasser Salihee, an Iraqi correspondent for Knight Ridder. Salihee was shot by an American sniper with a bullet to his head on June 24, 2005. At the time, he was gathering material for an investigative piece about how the US was training death squads -- the very same death squads which are now responsible for the savage civil war that kicked into high gear this year.

Salihee was killed; the American sniper was cleared; and Knight Ridder washed its hands, declaring "there's no reason to think that the shooting had anything to do with his reporting work." Imagine an analogous situation in Chechnya, the hue and cry from the Applebaums -- it'd be as inversely loud as the silence over Salihee's death. At least even the Kremlin admits Politkovskaya was killed for her reporting.

Indeed Salihee is just one of a number of journalists killed in Iraq, by far the most dangerous place in the world for journalists. And it's not all the insurgents' fault either. Some more marginal journalists, from Robert Fisk to Dahr Jamail, have written about how US forces in Iraq target journalists for murder. But no one wants to hear that -- so these kinds of reports stay on the margins. Journalists were targeted and killed at Al Jazeera; at first, reports that the Americans targeted them were dismissed as "conspiracy theory" talk, but recently, admissions that Bush, Blair, and a former Blair minister all explored ways to bomb Al Jazeera during the war are finally raising questions. Well, not really. Should be raising questions, leading to impassioned editorials by the Post and Anne Applebaum. But they're not, because they're too busy demonizing Russia.

Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist who was kidnapped last year in Iraq and freed by an Italian intelligence agent, was shot and wounded (the agent was killed) by US forces when she was returning to freedom. She insisted that US troops deliberately targeted her. A smear campaign in the US press -- labeling her a Communist and an anti-American with Stockholm Syndrome-- effectively nullified her story, but even pro-Bush Berlusconi was so incensed by the incident that he started to back away from Bush's war.

Italian TV later discovered evidence that US forces had used an illegal WMD, white phosphorus chemicals, during its destruction of Fallujah the year before. In spite of all the evidence, including burned corpses whose clothes were still intact, eyewitnesses, and even friendly Iraqi ministers who denounced it, the American media largely ignored it. Why the fuck did Italian TV, and not American TV, break this story? Where was Anne Applebaum on the atrocities in Fallujah?

The case of Eason Jordan, CNN's longtime superstar news chief, might explain the mainstream American media's silence. This is what happens when you're a mainstream American media man who dares to tell the ugly truth about Iraq. While hobnobbing with the Global Aristocracy at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January of 2005, Jordan made the mistake of telling his fellow elite what was really happening in Iraq: American forces were "out to get journalists, and some were deliberately targeting journalists."

Within two weeks, the longtime CNN honcho was out of work. His resignation came complete with a Stalin-esque confession that's chilling to read today:

"After 23 years at CNN," he wrote, "I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq. I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise."

Yes, he was a wrecker and a Trotskyite, and he begged for forgiveness. Because the man was dead -- in America, losing your job like that, after bad-mouthing America, means you're as good as dead.

A number of journalists have had their careers destroyed for not following the Party Line: Peter Arnett, Ashleigh Banfield, to name two of the most prominent. Meanwhile, the editors at the New York Times and the Washington Post who pushed for war, who spread lies about WMDs and helped bring about the 500,000 deaths reported today (a figure that of course is being attacked and demonized by the same people who cheer an organization's "courage" when such figures are arrived at in Chechnya), get to keep their jobs.

You can see now why we have no Politkovskaya, as badly as we need one. If you go against the "fascist" tendency in your home country, you're targeted for death and career destruction by the government and a bloodthirsty right-wing population. Just as with Chechnya, Iraq has been made too dangerous to work in, and the American government has put a perfectly air-tight lid on information, not even allowing photographs of the coffins of dead American servicemen.

The way Putin managed to bring the media more tightly under his heel than Yeltsin managed during his tenure was by a combination of brute intimidation and career-intimidation. Media heads were pressured, critics were harassed and ruthlessly mocked. Putin also managed to tap into a growing nationalist backlash against the anti-government criticism in the liberal media, much as Republicans constantly tap the American public's rabid patriotism and hatred of the "liberal media" for criticizing or questioning right-wing, militaristic policies. All of the good Russian journalists I know got out a few years ago because it was a bad career, unless you were going to do the equivalent of FOX News, which most refused to do. American journalists, on the other hand, manage to stay working under these circumstances because they can comfort themselves with homegrown lies, such as, "Sure I'd like to print something else, but I don't want to risk it. But the difference is, at least we have the RIGHT to publish what we want about Iraq."

The lesson of Anna Politkovskaya's fearless journalism was completely lost on the West. It's up to Russians to figure out the significance of her murder to their culture and their civilization. But in a West increasingly drowning in lies, war, murder and hatred, the last thing her death should give us is the opportunity to create another enemy, another nation to hate, another regime to be changed.


En kirke i Pakistan

En kirke i Pakistan

Det har vært så mye snakk om moskeer i Norge og hvordan muslimene ikke ville tillate kirker i deres egne land .. fant dette bildet av en vakker kirke i Lahore som jeg ønsket å dele med dere alle ... dette er da Saint Anthony's Church, Lahore.

Artikkel som er verdt å lese

Kulturer dreper

Jeg vet ikke hvilken kultur Vebjørn Selbekk tror han tilhører, men jeg vil si den er fremmed i Norge.

Av Stian Bromark, Ny Tid
Folk som bryter ut av sin kultur har en tendens til å bli innbitte forsvarere av Kulturen, uavhengig av hva slags kultur – det er selve ideen om at vi alle er produkter av en spesifikk kultur som forsvares. De bryter selv med sin kultur, insisterer på at de er individer, og kritiserer andre fordi de tilhører feil kultur eller Kulturen på feil vis. Vebjørn Selbekk, for eksempel, har forvandlet seg fra en homofob og muslimfiendtlig fanatiker på ytterste høyre kristnefløy til en opprørsk kulturradikaler som står på barrikadene for ytringsfriheten, velsignet av pressehøvdingen Per Edgar Kokkvold. Det er et mirakel.

For to år siden gikk Selbekk inn for å styrke blasfemiparagrafen for å verne om de kristnes religiøse følelser. Nå vil han ha den fjernet fordi han frykter at muslimer gjemmer seg bak den. I ”Truet av islamister” fremstår Selbekk som en varm forsvarer av ”vår” kultur, som om ikke islam og kristendom er nærere slektninger enn sekularisme og religion. I fjor sommer skrev Selbekk i Magazinet at man ”trenger nemlig ikke være spesielt smart eller høyt utdannet for å forstå at homofili er noe unaturlig”, mens han før sommeren i år kalte muslimers syn på homofili for ”reaksjonært”. Uten å rødme trekker også Selbekk fram Theo Van Gogh og Ayaan Hirsi Ali som forbilder, men han kan ha mer rett enn han tror.

Som journalisten Ian Buruma dokumenterer i sin ferske bok, ”Murder in Amsterdam. The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance”, gjennomgikk alle de tre sentrale aktørene i dramaet radikale personlighetsforandringer i årene før det uhyre ukloke drapet på Nederlands største kjetter. Ayaan Hirsi Ali var det Selbekk ville kalt en ”islamistisk fundamentalist” lenge etter at hun brøt med sin familie og lenge etter at hun var kommet til Nederland. Hun har vært sosialdemokrat og ultraliberalist, og jobber nå i en nykonservativ tenketank i USA. Van Gogh vokste opp i et besteborgerlig, hvitt og kalvinistisk villastrøk, men skapte seg siden om til opprøreren som våget å kalle muslimer for ”geitepulere” der alle andre tiet.

Morderen Mohammed Bouyeri var like mye et produkt av nederlandsk kultur som de to andre, og fylte mesteparten av ungdomstiden med rus og dårlig popmusikk. Han var en såkalt berber, ikke araber, fra Marokko, og kun ett år før drapet konverterte han til et verdensbilde som var hans familie fremmed. Hans formative opplevelser var to: Faren som ble nedverdiget i arbeidslivet fordi han var ”utlending” og den lokale ungdomsklubben som ble nedlagt. Men han mestret ikke arabisk og gikk ikke i moske. Han mislikte amerikansk utenrikspolitikk og han fordømte drapet på sivile 11. september 2001. Hans eneste kjæreste var ei halvt nederlandsk og halv tunisisk snerten dame i miniskjørt.

Selbekk, Van Gogh, Hirsi Ali og Bouyeri er eksempler på sauen som har forlatt flokken, og kanskje nettopp derfor insisterer på at de etterlatte er en flokk, og ikke en like forvirret gjeng bestående av individuelle, uensartede dyr. På avstand kan selv Dan Børge Akerø gå for å være et nyfødt lam. Selbekk er forøvrig ingen sau, men en rev som har fått alle til å tro at hans kristendom og demokrati kan forenes.

Stian Bromark er journalist og forfatter.

revurdering

Natoangrepet som tok livet av 40-85 sivile i Afghanistan bør få endel bjeller til å ringe. Skaper man på denne måten bare flere ekstremister. USAs lefling med aksept av tortur blant  øvre sjikt i det politiske landskap likeså.

Tror Norge seriøst bør vurdere sitt bidrag, og se på om man gjør Norge sikrere ved å trekke seg ut!

The Pope and his version of - ?God? and ?Islam?

From the start of the "pope saga" I have wanted to write about it, unfortunatley I have not had the time. But then I got hold of the following article by Dr Nasir Khan, which I am reproducing below. I dont agree with Dr Khan in everything he says,  but regarding the pope he does make a few excellent points!


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The Pope and his version of - ‘God’ and ‘Islam

Dr Nasir Khan

Pope Benedict XVI is the ruler of the Vatican City State and the spiritual head of more than one billion Christians across the world. What he says has an impact on political and religious thinking as well as on interfaith relations in the world. On 12 September, he delivered a well-prepared theological lecture before his home crowd of Bavarian academics and students in which he made a thinly veiled attack on the Prophet Muhammad and the notion of Holy War (Jihad). But instead of making a frontal attack on Islam, he used the derogatory remarks against Islam by a 14th century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, to convey his own message and thus to absolve himself of any responsibility for such remarks. Manuel II Paleologus had said: 

‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by sword the faith he preached.’  

Now, before I say anything whether such a remark has any basis in historical fact or is a mere crude misrepresentation of Islam, we should turn our attention to the method the Pope has used. It is common knowledge that whenever we use a quotation from other sources in our written or spoken words, we seek support for the particular point we may be making or we reject the view advanced by such a quotation by challenging it. To use a quotation in the former case does not need our comment; our using it evinces our – either direct or tacit -- approval.

 

It seems the Pope has used the emperor’s words in support of his own criticism of Islam and of his theological standpoint. It may be a clever device, but it was in reality an unhealthy and unfortunate thing for a number of reasons.  

First, Manuel’s formulation and accusation belongs to a particular era and historical setting in which the emperor was a direct participant in military and political struggle against the expanding Ottomans; however, his views on the Prophet and Islam have no relation to historical facts.  

Secondly, the Pope is an influential leader in world affairs and he has a moral and political responsibility to help reach out to other faiths, especially Islam, to promote better interfaith relations in a world where conflicts and violence seem to be increasing; gross violations of human rights are taking place, and we are living through a time when international law and the norms of civilised behaviour are being eroded and ignored by the powerful and mighty states.

 

Thirdly, behind the seemingly scholarly rhetoric lies the Pope’s theology according to which Christianity is compatible with rationality, thus negating a similar compatibility in the case of Islam. 

I do not intend to go into the details of such a theology, but such exclusivist views about the divine are excessively capricious and uncalled for in this century. His provocative and historically untenable remarks about Islamic teachings have led only to negative results; his ill-chosen words have inflamed the passions of Muslims throughout the world. In no way do I condone such violent responses, but at the same time we should be aware of the religious sensitivities of believers and not provoke them without good cause. We need to keep in mind that most believers, ‘the flock’, believe in a Divine Being and hold their holy books in high esteem. Indeed, they take their faiths seriously; they should not be assumed to be a gathering of philosophers, historians or doctors of theology capable of entering into dispassionate academic discussions. There are far too many people who are certain of their traditional beliefs and the authorities they rely upon. The British philosopher Bertrand Russell rightly says that the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves but wiser people so full of doubts.  

The political objectives?

The Pope’s speech comes amidst the growing anarchy and destruction in Iraq. The American war of aggression against Iraq has not gone according to the wishes of the Bush Administration. As a result of the militaristic policies of America in Iraq and its so-called ‘war against terror’, there is growing anger and frustration throughout the Muslim world against the American wars and terrorist policies in the Middle East.  Some observers see the Pope adding his voice to throw his support in favour of President Bush and his allies in what they call ‘Islamic terror’ and portray Islam as a violent religion.  

Evidently much of the Islamic world is going through an extremely difficult phase at this stage. Two Muslim countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, have been invaded and occupied by the armies of the New Crusaders – Bush and Blair – and two puppet regimes have been installed in these countries to serve the imperial interests. Also among the Western allies is Pakistan, whose ruler General Musharraf has admitted that America had threatened to bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age if he did not join the American ‘war against terror’. This he did. I addition to launching major military operations in the Frontier Province and Balochistan, Pakistan has rounded up any of its nationals who showed hostility towards American policies in the region. This has been carried out by the intelligence services of Pakistan in return for millions of American dollars and more than seven hundred such victims handed over to the CIA. Where and how are these prisoners being held or what has happened to them? The American government gives no information. Thus the crimes against humanity continue to mount and the only explanation is the flat statement that there is a ‘war against terror’.  

We all know that the Christian Right, especially evangelical and born-again Christians, are open supporters of the American invasion of Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and the systematic killings of Palestinians on a regular basis, not to mention the recent Israeli war against Lebanon.  

The Pope is a learned theologian. He certainly knows what is happening in the Muslim world at the hands of the Christian Powers. But instead of siding with the victims, he attacks them by distorting Islam and its Prophet as well as the true message of Jesus. This is quite a sharp reversal of the path pursued by his predecessor, John Paul II, who had stood for interfaith dialogue and called for respect for other religions. It is well known that as a cardinal in the Holy See, Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) was opposed to John Paul II’s pursuit of dialogue.  But the Vatican Council II (1962-65) had already taken some important decisions in the Catholic approach towards Islam and other religious traditions. To undermine these decisions of the Second Vatican Council by anyone, by whatever means, will constitute a leap in the wrong direction.  

Benedict has held Christianity to be the foundation of Europe and just a few months before he was elected, he had spoken out against the Muslim country, Turkey, joining the EU. He has argued that Christian Europe should be defended. Turkey should seek partners in Muslim countries, not in Christian Europe.   

Now, a brief comment on the charge against Muhammad and his so-called use of the sword to spread his faith. The Christian polemic against Islam is almost thirteen centuries old and Christian apologists have said and written much about it. To situate the whole discussion in a historical context, I did research for more than seven years on the topic. It has resulted in the publication of my book Perceptions of Islam in the Christendoms: A Historical Survey (Oslo: Solum Forlag, 2006). (The Norwegian Research Council had paid the cost of production to the publisher, and thus I have no financial interest in the sale of the book!) I have tried to show the problematic nature of such distorted views in detail, whereas Professor Oddbjørn Leirvik in his new book Islam og kristendom, Konflikt eller dialog? has given a brilliant account of the interaction between the two faiths and explored the possibilities of dialogue and cooperation, instead of confrontation, crude misrepresentations and mutual recriminations. I believe all those who are interested in historical facts will find these two books useful for study and reflection. 

The present attempt by the Pope to claim that ‘violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul’; in other words, that such a view of God cannot be extended to Islamic teachings because here ‘God is absolutely transcendent’. He is ‘not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality’. I find such a formulation and explication simply baffling. This reminds us of the Holosphyros Controversy during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus (r. 1143-80), where the official Melkite theologians had held that ‘the God of Muhammad was said to be holosphyros [made of solid metal beaten to a spherical shape] who neither begat nor was begotten’. If the Pope needed a good source for inspiration then he did chose the right epoch and the right mentors!

 

Finally, I would add only a short comment on the old Christian cliché that Muhammad stood for war and violence while Jesus stood for love and peace. There are many Christian believers who still believe this. There is no historical or scriptural evidence that Muhammad at any time in his life advocated war or encouraged his followers to spread Islam by means of the sword. But what did Jesus say?

 

‘Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man’s worst enemies will be the members of his own family’ (Matthew 34-36). 

I wonder if the Christian apologists by some strange mental confusion exchanged the roles of Muhammad and Jesus. But why do they still continue to ignore what the Bible says on the matter so clearly?  

At the same time, I want to emphasis that self-serving myths and dreams are not an alternative to historical facts. The question of forcible conversions in Islam is another big distortion because all the historical evidence points to the contrary. During the early period of Islamic Caliphate the Umayyad caliphs practically discouraged conversions to Islam. Far too many people had converted to Islam and that created administrative and financial problems for the State! In the Ottoman Empire, if any Muslim forced any Christian or Jew to convert to Islam, he was beheaded.  

10 Oct. 06

Dr Nasir Khan


Pavelige vrangforestillinger

Fra begynnelsen av denne pave-affæren har jeg ønsket å skrive litt om det, men har ikke helt fått det til. Fikk denne tilsendt av Dr Nasir Khan, et stykke som stod i klassekampen 17.10.2006.

Jeg er ikke enig med Dr Nasir i alt han sier, men det er endel ting rundt bruken av sitater og sitatet paven valgte som jeg mener er verdt å få med seg!

 

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Pavelige vrangforestillinger


Nasir Khan

Pave Benedict XVIs tale er et fordekt angrep på det viktige dialogarbeidet hans forgjenger Johannes Paul II utviklet, skriver Nasir Khan. 

Pave Benedict XVI er statsoverhode i Vatikanstaten, og åndelig leder for flere enn en milliard kristne over hele verden. Det han uttaler har innflytelse på både politisk og religiøs tenkning, så vel som på forholdet mellom verdensreligionene. Den 12. september i år holdt han en velforberedt, teologisk forelesning for sitt hjemmepublikum av bayerske studenter og akademikere, hvor han kom med et dårlig tilslørt angrep på profeten Muhammed og forestillingen om hellig krig ( Jihad).

Til å overbringe sitt eget budskap benyttet paven seg av et nedsettende utsagn som opprinnelig ble fremsatt av den bysantinske keiseren Manuel II Paleologus, for på den måten å frita seg selv fra ansvaret for påstanden. Utsagnet fra Manuel II Paleologus lyder: «Vis meg bare hva Muhammed brakte som var nytt, og alt du vil finne er slett og umenneskelig, slik som hans ordre om å spre med sverdet den troen han forkynte.»

Før jeg sier noe om hvorvidt utsagnet har noen støtte i historiske fakta, eller ganske enkelt er en ondsinnet forvrengning av islam, la oss vende oppmerksomheten mot den metoden paven har benyttet seg av. Det vanlige når en benytter seg av sitater fra andre kilder i skrift eller tale, er at en på den måten søker støtte for et synspunkt en selv har, eller at en tar avstand fra utsagnet ved å motgå det. Å bruke et sitat på den førstnevnte måten krever ingen utfyllende kommentarer fra egen side. Det faktum at en bruker det, røper samtidig ens egen - direkte eller stilltiende - godkjenning.

Det synes som om paven har brukt keiserens ord til støtte for sin egen kritikk av islam og sitt eget teologiske standpunkt. Det kan være et smart virkemiddel, men i virkeligheten var det av flere grunner både usunt og uheldig.

For det første hører Manuels utsagn hjemme i en bestemt æra og historisk sammenheng der keiseren selv var en direkte deltaker i den politiske og militære kampen mot et ekspanderende Ottomansk rike. Imidlertid har synspunktene hans ingen rot i historiske fakta.

For det andre er paven en innflytelsesrik verdensleder som har et moralsk og politisk ansvar for å strekke ut en hånd til andre trosretninger, især til islam, for å bedre forholdene mellom de store religionene i en verden hvor konflikter og vold synes å tilta, og hvor menneskerettigheter blir brutt i stor skala. Vi lever i en tid da internasjonale overenskomster og normer for sivilisert oppførsel uthules og blir oversett av mektige stater.

For det tredje ligger pavens teologiske synspunkt bak den tilsynelatende lærde retorikken. Dette synspunktet tilsier at kristendommen er forenlig med rasjonalitet, samtidig som det fratar islam den samme rasjonalitet.

Jeg har ikke til hensikt å gå inn i detaljene i en slik teologi, men et slikt ekskluderende synspunkt på det guddommelige er inkonsekvent og upassende i vår tid. Hans provoserende og historisk uholdbare bemerkninger om den islamske læren har utelukkende gitt negative resultater. De dårlig valgte ordene har hisset opp muslimer over hele verden.

Jeg støtter på ingen måte slike voldelige reaksjoner, men samtidig må vi være klar over troende menneskers religiøse nærtagenhet, og ikke provosere dem uten god grunn. Vi må være bevisst på at de fleste troende, «menigheten», tror på en guddommelig skapning og holder sine egne hellige skrifter høyt i aktelse. De tar troen sin på alvor.

En kan ikke forutsette at de er en ansamling av filosofer, historikere og teologidoktorer som er i stand til å delta i lidenskapsløse, akademiske diskusjoner. Det finnes alt for mange som er skråsikre på sin egen tradisjonsbundne tro og de autoriteter den bygger på. Den britiske filosofen Bertrand Russel sier så treffende at problemet med verden er at dårer og fanatikere alltid er så sikre på at de har rett, mens de kloke er så fulle av usikkerhet.

Pavens tale kommer midt i en tid med økende anarki og ødeleggelser i Irak. Den amerikanske angrepskrigen mot Irak har ikke gått slik Bush-administrasjonen ønsket. Som et resultat av USAs militaristiske linje i Irak, og den såkalte «krigen mot terror», er det nå tiltagende sinne og frustrasjon i hele den muslimske verden over amerikanske kriger og terrorpolitikken i Midtøsten. Noen observatører ser pavens tale som en støtte til president Bush og hans allierte i kampen mot det de kaller «islamistisk terror», og i fremstillingen av islam som en voldelig religion.

Store deler av den islamske verden befinner seg for tiden i en vanskelig situasjon. To muslimske land, Afghanistan og Irak, er begge invadert og okkupert av armeen til de nye korsfarerne - Bush og Blair - og to marionettregimer er innsatt i disse landene, for å tjene imperialistenes interesser. Blant Vestens allierte finner vi også Pakistan og general Musharraf som har innrømmet at USA truet med å bombe Pakistan tilbake til steinalderen om han ikke gikk med dem i «krigen mot terror». Så det gjorde han.

I tillegg til å sette i gang store militæroperasjoner i grenseprovinsen og Baluchistan, har Pakistan pågrepet et hvert medlem av befolkningen som har vist tegn til fiendtlighet mot den amerikanske politikken i regionen. Dette er blitt gjort av den pakistanske etterretningstjenesten, i bytte mot millioner av amerikanske dollar. Flere enn sju hundre offer for dette har til nå blitt overlevert til CIA. Hvor og hvordan blir disse fangene holdt? Hva har hendt med dem? Den amerikanske regjeringen gir ingen informasjon.

Altså fortsetter økningen i brudd på menneskerettighetene, med erklæringen om «krigen mot terror» som eneste forklaring.

Vi vet alle at den kristne høyrefløyen, især de evangeliske og gjenfødte kristne, er åpne tilhengere av den amerikanske invasjonen av Irak, den israelske okkupasjonen av palestinske områder og de jevnlige, systematiske drapene på palestinere, for ikke å glemme Israels nylige krig mot Libanon.

Paven er en lærd teolog. Han er fullt klar over hva som skjer i den muslimske verden, i hendene på kristne stater. Men i stedet for å ta parti med ofrene, angriper han dem, ved å gi et vrengebilde av islam og profeten Muhammed, så vel som av det sanne budskapet fra Jesus. Dette er en kraftig reversering av den linjen forgjengeren hans, Johannes Paul II, fulgte, og som innebar dialog og respekt mellom de forskjellige religioner.

Det er et velkjent faktum at Ratzinger, nå Pave Benedict XVI, sto i opposisjon til Johannes Paul IIs dialoglinje mens han var kardinal ved pavestolen. Men det andre Vatikan-konsilet (1962 - 65) hadde allerede tatt noen viktige valg når det gjaldt forholdet til islam og andre religioner. Å undergrave disse beslutningene vil bety et stort skritt i feil retning, uansett på hvilken måte og av hvem, det gjøres.

Pave Benedict XVI har fremholdt kristendommen som å være selve grunnlaget for Europa, og bare noen få måneder før han ble valgt, hadde han tatt til orde mot at det muslimske Tyrkia skulle få bli medlem av EU. Han hevdet at det kristne Europa måtte forsvares. Tyrkia burde søke seg samarbeidspartnere blant andre, muslimske land, ikke i det kristne Europa.

Så en kort kommentar til angrepet på Muhammed og hans påståtte bruk av sverdet for å spre troen. Den kristne polemikken mot islam har pågått i nærmere tretten hundre år, og kristne forsvarere av troen har skrevet og sagt mye i den forbindelse.

For å sette hele diskusjonen inn i en historisk sammenheng forsket jeg på temaet i over sju år. Det har resultert i utgivelsen av min bok «Perceptions of Islam in the Christendom: A Historical Survey» (Oslo: Solum Forlag, 2006). Der har jeg forsøkt å vise i detalj den problematiske natur som ligger i et slikt forvrengt syn som det paven utviser, mens professor Oddbjørn Leirvik har i sin nye bok «Islam og kristendom; Konflikt eller dialog?» gitt en glimrende fremstilling av samspillet mellom de to religionene, og har utredet mulighetene for dialog og samarbeid i stedet for konfrontasjon, ondsinnet mistolkning og gjensidige beskyldninger. Jeg tror at alle som er interesserte i de historiske fakta vil finne disse bøkene nyttige til studier og ettertanke.

Paven forsøker å hevde at «vold er uforenlig med Guds og sjelens natur»; med andre ord, at et slikt syn på Gud ikke kan finnes i den islamske lære, siden den hevder at «Gud er hevet over alt annet». Han er «ubundet av alle våre egenskaper, også rasjonalitet». Jeg finner en slik formulering og utlegning forbløffende. Dette minner oss om Holosphyros-striden under den bysantinske keiseren Manuel I Comnenus styringstid (1143 - 80), hvor de offisielle melkite-teologene (gammel, gresk ortodoks trosretning, red.anm.) hevdet at «Muhammeds Gud blir sagt å være holosphyros ('kompakt metallklump hamret til en kule', men ofte mistolket til å bety 'evig, uten begynnelse eller slutt, overs.anm.) som verken hadde avlet eller var avlet». Hvis paven trengte en god kilde til inspirasjon, valgte han riktig epoke og de rette veilederne!

Til sist vil jeg knytte en liten merknad til den gamle, kristne klisjeen om at Muhammed sto for krig, mens Jesus sto for kjærlighet og fred. Det er fortsatt mange troende kristne som mener dette. Det finnes ingen bevis, verken historisk eller i skriftene, for at Muhammed på noe tidspunkt gjorde seg til talsmann for krig eller oppfordret sine tilhengere til å spre islam ved sverdets hjelp. Men hva sa Jesus? «Tro ikke at jeg er kommet for å bringe fred på jorden. Jeg er ikke kommet for å bringe fred, men sverd. Jeg er kommet for å sette skille: Sønn står mot far, datter mot mor, svigerdatter mot svigermor, og en manns husfolk er hans fiender» (Matt. 10.34-36).

Jeg undres om ikke forsvarerne av den kristne tro på en eller annen merkelig måte har kommet til å bytte om Muhammeds og Jesu rolle. Men hvorfor fortsetter de med å overse det Bibelen så tydelig sier om saken?

Samtidig vil jeg understreke at egennyttige myter og drømmer ikke er alternativer til historiske fakta. Spørsmålet om konvertering under tvang til islam, er en annen betydelig forvrengning. Alle historiske bevis peker mot det motsatte. I den første tiden under det islamske Kalifatet, motarbeidet nærmest kalifene under Umayyad-dynastiet, omvendelser til islam. Altfor mange mennesker hadde konvertert, og hadde dermed skapt administrative og økonomiske problemer for staten! I det ottomanske riket ble en hver muslim som tvang en kristen eller en jøde til å konvertere, halshugget. 

©Klassekampen



Morsomt om sitater

Synes ofte historien bak et sitat kan være vel så morsomt og interessant som sitatet selv, om ikke bedre.

Et sitat som ofte brukes er fra den franske filosofen og forfatteren Voltaire som er noe slikt som: "Jeg er uenig med deg, men er villig til å gå i døden for din rett til å hevde det." Noen andre som kjenner det igjen? Vel, historien bak at Voltaire sa denne setningen er meget interessant, fordi den ikke eksisterer :) Voltaire sa nemlig aldri denne setningen som for all fremtid har blitt tillagt ham.

Hans setning, som kanksje var utgangspunktet for dette sitatet, var "tenk selv, og la andre få samme frihet" i et essay om toleranse. Snerten setning, men ikke samme driv som i det andre sitatet. Nåvel, en person som skrev om ham flere år etter hans død skrev dette sitatet i et forsøk på å forklare Voltaire's posisjon, og sitatet har deretter feilaktig blitt lagt til Voltaire. Så, nå vet dere, mine kjære lesere, det til neste gang noen drar opp dette sitatet. :) (navnet på denne skribenten er forresten Tellentyre et eller annet ... )


Ramadan er over, god Id!

Viser til IRN, og ønsker alle leserne en god Id feiring :)

Ny moske i Oslo

Arbeid har påbegynt på den tredje moskebygningene i Oslo, moskeen skal stå klar om et års tid. Det jeg synes er mye viktigere enn at de lager en bygning, som jo i seg selv er flott nok, er planene om å lage et bibliotek. Samarbeidet mellom moskeene og kirkene på Grønland gir også håp for fremtiden.

hezbollah brukte klasebomber?

"Hizbollah brukte klasebomber" kan vi lese om i nettavisen. Noen kommentarer til artikkelen, med mine kommentarer i kursiv.

 

menneskerettighetsorganisasjonen Human Rights Watch, fastslår at det ikke bare var Israel som brukte klasebomber mot sivile i krigen, skriver borsen.dk.


Jeg har lett etter dette hos HRW, men finner ikke rapporten, kan noen hjelpe?

 

 

Israel har blitt sterkt kritisert for bruken av klasevåpen – ikke minst i fra Human Rights Watch. Men i dag fortalte organisasjonen at Hizbollah avfyrte kinesisk-produserte type-81 122 mm raketter inn i sivile områder av Israel. Det skal være første gang at disse rakettene har vært i bruk i krig, skriver Jerusalem Post.


Det kinesiske rakettvåpenet er basert på sovjetisk design, BM-21. Spørsmålet er om dette er en klasebombe?

 

- Vi er rystet over at det ikke bare var Israel, men også at Hizbollah brukte klasebomber i konflikten. Dette på et tidspunkt hvor verden gikk bort fra å bruke disse våpnene på grunn av de omfattende skadene det gjør mot sivile, sier Steve Goose fra organisasjonens avdeling for våpen.

Israelsk politi skal ha funnet 113 kinesiske klasebombe-raketter på israelsk territorium. Israel brukt amerikansk-produserte bomber. 30 prosent av bombene ligger fremdeles ueksplodert i Sør-Libanon, skriver The Independent.

 

Jeg skjønner at med det rette stridhodet kan dette være en klasebombe, men var alle disse 113 rakettene det? Hva definerer en klasebombe? Slik jeg forstår det er det to hovedtyper, den ene er pakket med miner, som spres over et område og ligger udetonerte, og den andre er fylt med stålkuler. Tror ikke en slik rakett på 122mm kan utstyres med miner, eller den kan kanskje det? Uansett, det er forskjell på nesten 1 million miner, jeg har lest 3-4 millioner andre steder, og 113 raketter. Men rett skal være rett, Hezbollah burde vite bedre.

Uansett ... Bruk av klasebomber som rettes mot sivile burde forbys. Grunnen til at jeg tar et forbehold er at enkelte slike bomber er designet for bruk mot militære mål som f.eks flyplasser etc, og det må vel være grei bruk av dem tenker jeg.


Eksperimentet

Et tankevekkende stykke skrevet av den israelske fredsaktivisten Uri Avnery.

The Great Experiment

By Uri Avnery

-- -- IS IT possible to force a whole people to submit to foreign occupation by starving it?

That is, certainly, an interesting question. So interesting, indeed, that the governments of Israel and the United States, in close cooperation with Europe, are now engaged in a rigorous scientific experiment in order to obtain a definitive answer.

The laboratory for the experiment is the Gaza Strip, and the guinea pigs are the million and a quarter Palestinians living there.

IN ORDER to meet the required scientific standards, it was necessary first of all to prepare the laboratory.

That was done in the following way: First, Ariel Sharon uprooted the Israeli settlements that were stuck there.

After all, you can't conduct a proper experiment with pets roaming around the laboratory. It was done with "determination and sensitivity", tears flowed like water, the soldiers kissed and embraced the evicted settlers, and again it was shown that the Israeli army is the most-most in the world.

With the laboratory cleaned, the next phase could begin: all entrances and exits were hermetically sealed, in order to eliminate disturbing influences from the world outside.

That was done without difficulty. Successive Israeli governments have prevented the building of a harbor in Gaza, and the Israeli navy sees to it that no ship approaches the shore. The splendid international airport, built during the Oslo days, was bombed and shut down. The entire Strip was closed off by a highly effective fence, and only a few crossings remained, all but one controlled by the Israeli army.

There remained a sole connection with the outside world:

the Rafah border crossing to Egypt. It could not just be sealed off, because that would have exposed the Egyptian regime as a collaborator with Israel. A sophisticated solution was found: to all appearances the Israeli army left the crossing and turned it over to an international supervision team. Its members are nice guys, full of good intentions, but in practice they are totally dependent on the Israeli army, which oversees the crossing from a nearby control room. The international supervisors live in an Israeli kibbutz and can reach the crossing only with Israeli consent.
So everything was ready for the experiment.

THE SIGNAL for its beginning was given after the Palestinians had held spotlessly democratic elections, under the supervision of former President Jimmy Carter.

George Bush was enthusiastic: his vision of bringing democracy to the Middle East was coming true.

But the Palestinians flunked the test. Instead of electing "good Arabs", devotees of the United States, they voted for very bad Arabs, devotees of Allah. Bush felt insulted. But the Israeli government was ecstatic: after the Hamas victory, the Americans and Europeans were ready to take part in the experiment. It could start:

The United States and the European Union announced the stoppage of all donations to the Palestinian Authority, since it was "controlled by terrorists". Simultaneously, the Israeli government cut off the flow of money.

To understand the significance of this: according to the "Paris Protocol" (the economic annex of the Oslo agreement) the Palestinian economy is part of the Israeli customs system. This means that Israel collects the duties for all the goods that pass through Israel to the Palestinian territories - actually, there is no other route. After deducting a fat commission, Israel is obligated to turn the money over to the Palestinian Authority.

When the Israeli government refuses to pass on this money, which belongs to the Palestinians, it is, simply put, robbery in broad daylight. But when one robs "terrorists", who is going to complain?

The Palestinian Authority - both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip - needs this money like air for breathing. This fact also requires some explanation: in the 19 years when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip, from 1948 to 1967, not a single important factory was built there. The Jordanians wanted all economic activity to take place in Jordan proper, east of the river, and the Egyptians neglected the strip altogether.

Then came the Israeli occupation, and the situation became even worse. The occupied territories became a captive market for Israeli industry, and the military government prevented the establishment of any enterprise that could conceivably compete with an Israeli one.

The Palestinian workers were compelled to work in Israel for hunger wages (by Israeli standards). From these, the Israeli government deducted all the social payments levied on Israeli workers, without the Palestinian workers enjoying any social benefits. This way the government robbed these exploited workers of tens of billions of dollars, which disappeared somehow in the bottomless barrel of the government.

When the intifada broke out, the Israeli captains of industry and agriculture discovered that it was possible to get along without the Palestinian workers. Indeed, it was even more profitable. Workers brought in from Thailand, Romania and other poor countries were ready to work for even lower wages and in conditions bordering on slavery.

The Palestinian workers lost their jobs.

That was the situation at the beginning of the experiment:

the Palestinian infrastructure destroyed, practically no means of production, no work for the workers. All in all, an ideal setting for the great "experiment in hunger".

THE IMPLEMENTATION started, as mentioned, with the stoppage of payments.

The passage between Gaza and Egypt was closed in practice.

Once every few days or weeks it was opened for some hours, for appearances' sake, so that some of the sick and dead or dying could get home or reach Egyptian hospitals.

The crossings between the Strip and Israel were closed "for urgent security reasons". Always, at the right moment, "warnings of an imminent terrorist attack" appeared.

Palestinian agricultural products destined for export rot at the crossing. Medicines and foodstuffs cannot get in, except for short periods from time to time, also for appearances, whenever somebody important abroad voices some protest. Then comes another "urgent security warning" and the situation is back to normal.

To round off the picture, the Israeli Air Force bombed the only power station in the Strip, so that for a part of the day there is no electricity, and the water supply (which depends on electric pumps) stops also. Even on the hottest days, with temperatures of over 30 degrees centigrade in the shade, there is no electricity for refrigerators, air conditioning, the water supply or other needs.

In the West Bank, a territory much larger than the Gaza Strip (which makes up only 6% of the occupied Palestinian territories but holds 40% of the inhabitants), the situation is not quite so desperate. But in the Strip, more than half of the population lives beneath the Palestinian "poverty line", which lies of course very, very far below the Israeli "poverty line". Many Gaza residents can only dream of being considered poor in the nearby Israeli town of Sderot.

What are the governments of Israel and the US trying to tell the Palestinians? The message is clear: You will reach the brink of hunger, and even beyond, if you do not surrender. You must remove the Hamas government and elect candidates approved by Israel and the US. And, most

importantly: you must be satisfied with a Palestinian state consisting of several enclaves, each of which will be utterly dependent on the tender mercies of Israel.

AT THE moment, the directors of the scientific experiment are pondering a puzzling question: how on earth do the Palestinians still hold out, in spite of everything?

According to all the rules, they should have been broken long ago!

Indeed, there are some encouraging signs. The general atmosphere of frustration and desperation creates tension between Hamas and Fatah. Here and there clashes have broken out, people were killed and wounded, but in each case the deterioration was halted before it became a civil war. The thousands of hidden Israeli collaborators are also helping to stir things up. But contrary to all expectations, the resistance did not evaporate. Even the captured Israeli soldier has not been released.

One of the explanations has to do with the structure of Palestinian society. The Hamulah (extended family) plays a central role there. As long as one person in the family is working, the relatives, too, do not die of hunger, even if there is widespread malnutrition. Everyone who has any income shares it with all his brothers and sisters, parents, grandparents, cousins and their children. That is a primitive system, but quite effective in such circumstances. It seems that the planners of the experiment did not take this into account.

In order to quicken the process, the whole might of the Israeli army is now being used again, as from this week.

For three months the army was busy with the Second Lebanon War. It became apparent that the army, which for the last

39 years has been employed mainly as a colonial police force, does not function very well when suddenly confronted with a trained and armed opponent that can fight back.

Hizbullah used deadly anti-tank weapons against the armored forces, and rockets rained down on Northern Israel. The army has long ago forgotten how to deal with such an enemy.

And the campaign did not end well.

Now the army returns to the war it knows. The Palestinians in the Strip do not (yet) have effective anti-tank weapons, and the Qassam rockets cause only limited damage. The army can again use tanks against the population without hindrance. The Air Force, which in Lebanon was afraid to send in helicopters to remove the wounded, can now fire missiles at the houses of "wanted persons", their families and neighbors, at leisure. If in the last three months "only" 100 Palestinians were killed per month, we are now witnessing a dramatic rise in the number of Palestinians killed and wounded.

How can a population that is hit by hunger, lacking medicaments and equipment for its primitive hospitals and exposed to attacks on land, from sea and from the air, hold out? Will it break? Will it go down on its knees and beg for mercy? Or will it find inhuman strength and stand the test?

In short: What and how much is needed to get a population to surrender?

All the scientists taking part in the experiment - Ehud Olmert and Condoleezza Rice, Amir Peretz and Angela Merkel, Dan Halutz and George Bush, not to mention Nobel Peace Price laureate Shimon Peres - are bent over the microscopes and waiting for an answer, which undoubtedly will be an important contribution to political science.

I hope the Nobel Committee is watching.

Uri Avnery is an Israeli author and activist. He is the head of the Israeli peace movement, "Gush Shalom".



Hyklersk eller latterlig ... En diskusjon fra document.no

Det startet med en kommentar til et innlegg på nettstedet document.no. Noen mener da at det burde fortsette på min blogg, noe jeg synes er helt ok, men det ble litt feil med en tråd som ikke passet i det hele tatt. Derfor tenkte jeg å ta diskusjonen videre her!

Mitt innlegg lød som følger:

Synes dct er interessant at Kubaisis skriverier får applaus fra denne siden når han angriper islam og muslimer, men når samme kritikk rettes mot noen andre er det ikke like forbilledlig lengere? Det er et ord som brukes om slike dobbeltstandarder! Hyklersk!


Svaret jeg fikk fra denne leseren av document.no:

Shoaib mener at det er hyklersk av document.nos lesere å støtte de deler av Kubaisis kritikk av islam og muslimer som vi anser som riktige, uten samtidig å være enig i hans kritikk av Anfindsen og andre lignende islamofobe og fascistiske Hitler-skikkelser. Altså, enten må vi være enige i alt Kubaisis ytrer, eller ingenting - i hvert fall hvis vi skal unngå å bli kalt hyklere.

Latterlig.

For det første er det interessant at leseren identifiserer seg så mye med document.no, siden han/hun kaller seg "vi fra document.no", for jeg er ganske sikker på at dette ikke er Hans Rustad. Er det ham, så vil jeg gjerne at han legger kommentarer under eget navn, det samme med andre også, synes det å kalle noen "fryktelig ensisig" blir litt dumt i lengden, men siden vedkommende bruker dette så er det det eneste navnet jeg har.

Så, kjære fryktelig ensidig. Du synes å mene at det er latterlig det jeg sier, men det ser ut til at du har misforstått totalt det jeg mener. Jeg har aldri ment at man må være enig med Kubaisi, er det sjeldent selv jeg! Men poenget er at når man applauderer kritikk fra person a mot x, men synes det er fryktlig når person a kommer med helt den samme kritikken av y, så er man hyklersk. Det er å behandle kong Salamo og Jørgen hattermaker veldig ulikt. Det er ikke det å være enig som er poenget her, selvsagt kan man ikke være enig i alt noen sier, men det er det å mene at man bør kunne angripe a, men ikke b. Det er ikke noe annet enn hyklersk!

Ny FN sjef

Midt oppi hele Nobelsfredsprisdiksusjonen fikk jeg aldri skrevet noe om FNs nye generalsekretær, Ban Ki-moon. Han blir jo generalsekretær omtrent samtidig med at verdens oppmerksomhet rettes mot Korea igjen. Hvis FNs generalforsamling godtar ham, starter Ban Ki-moon sitt virke fra 1. januar 2007.

Nobelprisen

Grameen Bank og Muhammed Yunus (som grunnla Grameen Bank) ble i dag tildelt Nobels Fredspris for sitt arbeid mot fattigdom. Det er bare å stille seg i listen av gratulanter!

En amerikask Irakveteran forteller

Ganske motbydelige ting han har vært med på ... og det han forteller kan man nesten ikke tro på, men det skjer altså.

Tydeligvis IKKE. Denne videoen skal ha blitt avslørt for å være juks og bedrag.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Macbeth

Takk til Håvard Simensen som oppdaget dette, og Øyvind som videreformidlet beskjeden!

Despotene ønsker Bush velkommen

Glitrende levert av Terry Jones!

A splendid achievement

By Terry Jones

George Bush should be congratulated - he has surely earned the right to join the ranks of despots

Dear President Bush,

I write to you in my capacity as secretary of the World League of Despots.

It is with great pleasure that I am finally able to extend an official invitation to you to join our ranks. For many years, we have watched your efforts to fulfil the requirements necessary to join our number. From the start, we were greatly impressed by your disdain for democratic principles - the way you wrested power from the democratically elected candidate in the 2000 election, and again in 2005 when you managed to swing what was clearly going to be a victory for your opponent.

Contempt for human life has always been a priority requirement for membership of the league, and I and my fellow adjudicators were well aware of your record as governor of Texas when you quadrupled the number of state executions. But your record since seizing power has surpassed even our expectations. The thousands of innocent people in Iraq, who have died so that you could fulfil your declared political objective of establishing "an American force presence in the Middle East", attest to your eligibility to join our ranks.

I cannot, however, disguise the fact that we adjudicators were extremely anxious when you announced your intention to remove from office one of our most stalwart members, Mr Saddam Hussein. However, we need not have worried. According to a recent UN report, you have ensured that there are now even more human rights abuses in Iraq than there were under Saddam. No less than 10% of those in custody are being physically or psychologically abused. Well done!

Of course, your unstinting efforts to make torture an internationally accepted aspect of human life have surpassed everything we could have ever hoped for. I don't think there is a single member of the league who could have imagined, six short years ago, that our activities in tormenting our fellow creatures would once again be recognised as acceptable, civilised behaviour, as it once was in the middle ages.

Despite these achievements, we had, until now, felt unable to extend our invitation to you because you had been unable to fulfil one of our basic requirements: the ability to carry out arbitrary arrests, imprisonment without trial, secret torture and executions at will.

We approved of your attempts to establish the principles of arbitrary arrest under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, but unfortunately it was still restricted to terror suspects. We appreciate that you were hampered by the US constitution, but the restrictions this imposed on your arbitrary powers kept you below the threshold requirements for qualification as a despot.

Now, however, all that has changed. At the end of last month you persuaded the Senate to pass a bill regarding the treatment of detainees. Illegally obtained evidence can now be used against suspects, even if it has been gathered abroad under torture. Anyone you care to accuse can be thrown into prison without the right to a trial or the right to represent themselves.

Officially the legislation is restricted to "enemy combatants", but you have skilfully adapted this definition to include anyone who has "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the US". This presumably means that anyone who publicly criticises your conduct can be defined as supporting hostilities to the US. You are now free to arrest and imprison anyone you don't like. You've got it in the bag!

It is with great pleasure that we in the World League of Despots note that you have now appropriated to yourself all the powers of arbitrary arrest and torture that Saddam once enjoyed. You are now one of us. Congratulations!

Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python www.terry-jones.net

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006

Nord Koreas atomvåpen, måtte det komme?

Ingen er vel videre glad for at Nord Korea har blitt medlem i 'atomklubben', men jeg har sittet og tenkt endel på det som har skjedd. Jeg lurer på hvorfor Nord Korea bestemte seg for å ta denne beslutningen, og om det kunne være ungått.

Nå har CIA hevdet siden 2003 at Nord Korea har rundt 5 atomvåpen, men det var altså uklare kilder. Nå vet vi dette. 2003 er også året da Bush & co angrep Irak, visstnok grunnet landets atomvåpen, som da CIA og andre var mer usikre på, mens selv da sa man at Nord Korea var nærmere atomvåpen enn Irak. Nå vet vi at det var sant. Nå bør man ikke holde pusten i påvente av en amerikansk invasjon av Nord Korea, for ifølge Pentagon kunne dette ende opp med  å koste opp mot 500.000 amerikanere liv og lemmer. 

Men tross fordømmelsene er det verdt å også huske på at Nord Koreas atomvåpenprogram er av defensiv natur. Det er ikke for å angripe USA eller andre, men en frykt for en amerikansk invasjon som har drevet dette. Dermed er det heller det faktum at USA ikke lengre kan presse landet som får Washington til å fråde. Nord Korea har flere ganger nevnt at landet er villig til å gi opp atomvåpen, men at det har tre krav som må oppfylles:
1) Engasjere Nord Korea direkte i dialog (sagt på en annen måte, anerkjenne regimet i landet)
2) Gi landet garantier for at USA ikke vil angripe
3) Gi økonomisk støtte
USA har nektet på alle tre punkter. Spørsmålet man bør så stille seg i Washington er om det var verdt det.


Nordkorea sprenger atomvåpen

Ihvertfall sier NordKorea at de har gjennomført en vellykket prøvesprengning. Med en allerede spent situasjon mellom nord og sør korea kom ikke dette på den beste tiden.

HRS som ryktespredere

Human Rights Service sitt innlegg om de tre jentene som ble myrdet av sin bror for vel en uke siden har irritert meg voldsomt, men har ikke hatt tid og mulighet til å skrive noe om dette. Fant ut at Beate hadde allerede skrevet om det, så jeg tenkte at man like gjerne kunne linke til det, og anbefale innlegget!


Ahmedinejad med egne ord

De iranske presidenten skriver egen blogg, siste innlegget følger:

Some Notes  

The purpose & objective of the formation of this site was having a straight, direct and immediate contact with the visitors and addresses. After my first post, I preferred to spend all the time that I have allocated for this web log, to read the viewpoints of the visitors. Because I felt most of the individuals who have left a message – a suggestion, a question or even a reproof – they expect me to read it personally.
* * *
The other day, I promised to provide the public, the detail of meeting that I had with the members of the U.S. foreign relation council. The purpose of the issuance of the detail of this meeting is to inform the public and also to brief the mass media.
The detail of the meeting with the council-which is introduced as an independent council and NGO- can help the people of the world to realize and recognize the way of thinking & also the mental level of the so called the elite and those who impress the U.S. policies.
In this meeting, I was waiting for some specialized and key point questions. But the level of the questions did not go beyond those that are raised in a regular news conference which have been answered many times.
In the aforementioned meeting, it was again proven to me that the actual reason for the failure of the U.S. policy in its political field and international relation is their lack of information regarding the world%q%s realities and also enclosure of the decision making people of that country in their own fabricated and false political propaganda.
* * *

In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
Oh Almighty God, please, we beg you to send us our Guardian- who You have promised us- soon and appoint us as His close companions.
 I thank you for your remarks and explanations. Of course you reconfirmed that you are an independent council. It’s interesting for me. But the points you mentioned are of special importance. I think today in the world we are facing numerous problems. And we shall not limit ourselves to the wishes of certain powers or parties. We shall take a look at the world and review the present circumstances. I don’t know what is your impression of the present circumstances in the world. But what I believe is that the elements, rules and structures shaped in the post second world war are closing to their end. These elements and structures can not run the world any more. Though there mny be some who are pleased with conflicts and wars because of their party’s interests. But all independent individuals who show sympathy with human values are not pleased with present status of the world. Today there are a few number of people who can see a bright future for the world given the existing political developments in the world. Every day we witness further distance between people and further tensions and hostilities. The structures, rules and element shaped in the post second world war period can no more settle the global problems. As a clear evidence I refer to Palestine, Iraq and even Afghanistan. Afghanistan which we hoped to be followed by positive development but now is facing unpleasant situation. In the African continent we are also facing many unsolved problems. It as the same with South American. Literature of certain powers is the literature of threat. Despite rhetoric commitments we still are witnessing stock-piling of unclear weapons and unclear race ...



Hva sa Ahmedinejad egentlig?

Det er endel vedtatte sannheter som som den videre debatten bygger på. Er denne "sannheten" uriktig blir selvsagt alt annet påvirket av dette.

En slik sannhet er at den iranske presidenten har gitt uttrykk for å ville slette Israel fra kartet. Professor Virginia Tilley har gått gjennom president Mahmoud Ahmadinejads tale, og konklusjonen hun trekker er ganske overaskende. Det mest kjente sitatet om at "israel skal slettes fra kartet" er ganske enkelt ikke riktig ifølge Tilley. Likevel er det et av de mest siterte setningene som skal overbevise oss om hvor irrasjonell og gal denne iranske presidenten egentlig er.

 bloggsfæren såvel som i MSM (main stream media) er dette en vedtatt sannhet. Ifølge Tilley brukte Ahmadinejad hverken uttrykkene "slette" eller "kart". Det han skal ha sagt er at "dette regimet som okkuperer jerusalem må forsvinne" ... Og akkurat som pavens tale i Tyskland var det ikke snakk om et eget poeng, men et sitat (her fra Ayatollah Khomeini)

Sammenhengen i Ahmadinejads tale var at han snakket om Shahen i Iran, Sovjetunionen, og Saddams regime i Irak som regimer som en gang hadde virket så sterke, men som på hadde forsvunnet .. beskjeden var at regimet som okkuperer Jerusalem vil forsvinne inn i historien på samme måte.

Igjen og igjen viser Tilley hvordan talene til Ahmadinejad blir tolket feil.

Grafiske historiske kart

Et meget spennende grafisk kart som viser midtøstens historie  med de ulike  emperiene og deres utbredelse.  På 90 sekunder går man gjennom 5000 års historie ...  Sjekk det ut her.

Krig mot Iran

Her er de som skal gjøre oss klare for den .. skremmende mange kjente navn, og kjent argumentasjon. Nå sier ingen at man vil bli møtt med roser i Tehran, men det kommer nok snart det også er jeg redd.

Spennende artikkel om "islamisme"

Spesiellt i vår tid, når man legger frem at alt og allting ondt skyldes "islamistene", og en panikkaktig stemning piskes opp er denne artikkelen et spennende og noe anderledes innslag:

Islamistiske bevegelser fremmer vestlige verdier


04.okt 2006 05:00
Av:

Islamistiske bevegelser i Midtøsten bidrar til å fremme vestlige verdier. De representerer ofte moderniserende og demokratiske krefter i opposisjon til korrupte og udemokratiske regimer.


Sensur og sensur

Det har vært sagt en rekke ting om hvordan Islamsk Råd Norge (IRN) skal ha bedt TV2 om ikke å sende dokumentar programmet dokument 2. Nå ba ikke IRN TV 2  om ikke å sende det, men markerte at man ikke likte ideen om å sende det ut på nytt. Jeg synes ikke det er så vanskelig å forstå og godta. Krav om at TV 2 ikke sendte det ville jeg selvsagt tatt klar avstand fra.

Men her har dere noe virkelig sensur å bli sure over, TV 2 har nemlig bukket under press for ikke å sende innslag, ikke fra muslimske fanatikere men mektige pengeinteresser. Jeg holder ikke pusten i påvente av at Tabloid tar opp denne problemstillingen. (Kanskje NrK gjør det? :) )

Tagget

Tja, Trond tagget meg her ... så da er det vel bare å starte ...

1: Hvor bor du:

Jeg bor i Oslo, men er vokst opp i Nes på Romeriket.

2: Hvilke bok holder du på med nå?

Jeg leser ofte flere bøker samtidig, nå har jeg nettopp gjort meg ferdig med "In the Line of fire" av den pakistanske presidenten Pervez Musharraf og "The Great Theft" av Khaled M. Abou El Fadl. Skal begynne på "dying to win" av Robert Pape. 

Av noe mindre seriøs litt. leser jeg House of Chains av Steven Erikson for tiden. Har lest den før, fjerde bok i serien (så langt seks av ti som har kommet ut)  Venter i spenning på bok nr 7, Reapers Gale som skal komme ut i mars neste år.


3: Hvilke motiv har du på musmatta di??

Har en laptop, med innebygget mus :)

4: Hva er ditt favoritt selskapsspill??

elsker som mange andre sjakk, men det er ikke akkurat noe selskapsspill. Har spilt Diplomacy og Risk, og liker det .. men man får ikke mange venner med slike spill ;)

5: Hva er din favoritt duft??

hjemmebakte boller :D

6: Hva er din verste duft??

søppelposer som er en dag (for mye) gamle

7: Hva er din favoritt lyd??

Lyden av suksess? :D

8: Verste følelsen i verden??

hjelpeløshet

9: Hva er det første du tenker på når du står opp??

jeg stå opp?

10: Favorittfarge.

Lyse grønn og blå

11. Hvor mange signaler går det før du svarer når telefonen ringer?

akkurat så mange det tar

12: Hva skal ditt barn hete??

Det vet jeg når jeg får barn

13: Hva betyr mest her i livet?

Kona, foreldrene mine og mine venner.

14: Hva er din favoritt mat.

Grillet kyllig, og stort sett alt kona lager (hun har en forkjærlighet for kinesisk, så da blir det ofte det :) ) Selv liker jeg å lage arabisk mat.
 
15: Sjokolade eller vanilje?

sjokolade med vaniljefyll? :D

16: Liker du å kjøre fort??

Egentlig ikke, kjører bare fort hvis jeg "må".

17: Sover du med kosedyr?

nei

18: Hva var din første bil??

Jeg kjøpte et par biler sammen med noen kamerater, men min første "egne" bil var en Jeep Cherokee, hadde den kun en kort periode før jeg skiftet over til en Toyota Corolla.

19: Om du fikk treffe hvem du ville - hvem ville du helst møte, død eller levende?

Noen som lever idag, og som jeg ikke har møtt? Nelson Mandela!

Noam Chomsky og Jimmy Carter kommer nok opp høyt på en liste også, det samme gjør Khaled M. Abou El Fadl.

20. Favorittdrikk?

Godt brygget te, kakao eller appelsinjuice

21. Hvilket stjernetegn er du?

Stenbukk


22. Spiser du enden på broccoli?

ja

23. Om du kunne få nøyaktig hvilken jobb du ville - hva ville det være?

Akkurat nå? Den jobben jeg har!

24. Om du kunne farge håret i hvilken farge du ville, hvilken ville det være?

ville aldri finne på å farve håret :)

25. Er glasset halvtomt eller halvfullt?

halvfult eller halvtomt, er ikke viktig, men om det øker eller minsker ...

26. Favorittfilm(er)?

Jeg elsker jo fantasy, så de tre Lord Of the Rings filmene er selvsagte, selv om de ikke er like bra som boken. Likte ellers Malcolm X, Shaw Shank Redemption, American History X, flere av Star Trek filmene, Iron Will, Ice Age I og II, Shrek, The message ... hmm, begynner å bli mange dette her ... stopper her, men det er mange filmer som har hatt den statusen over tid da ...

27. Skriver du uten å se på tastaturet?

Ja, stort sett ... men sliter i perioder når jeg skifter mye mellom ulike maskiner (laptop, vanlig desktop tastatur og mitt buede tastatur hjemme ...)  fører til tider til morsomme skriveleifer gang på gang på gang i et dokument :)

28. Hva finnes under din seng?

rammemadrassen min


29; Hva er ditt favorittall.

0

30: Favorittsport å se på??

cricket, friidrett og turn

31: Kaffe eller is??

Ja takk begge deler

32: Frase/ord du bruker ofte

"yeah right", "sure" og "akkurat ja"

------------------------------------------

Hvem skal jeg gi stafettpinnen til videre da tro? Jeg velger Øyvind og Lars jeg.

norwegistan

Genial bra artikkel av Stian Bromark som stod på trykk i dagbladet, velkommen til norwegistan. Her på forfatterens egen bloggside. Anbefales på det sterkeste!

Fra den pakistanske presidentens memoarer IV

How we found Pearl buried in ten pieces


IN JANUARY 2002 the world’s media received e-mails saying that the journalist Daniel Pearl had been kidnapped. Pearl, a citizen of both the United States and Israel, was the South Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. The ransom demands included the release and return to Pakistan of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

The e-mails also stated: “We assure Americans that they shall never be safe on the Muslim Land of Pakistan. And if our demands are not met this scene shall be repeated again and again.”

I was incensed when I learnt of this, disgusted that these criminals were distorting a religion of peace and beauty and using it as a cloak for their sins.

I immediately ordered all agencies to find Pearl’s kidnappers and the e-mails were traced to a man named Omar Saeed Sheikh.

The Wall Street Journal informed us that Pearl, who had arrived in Pakistan on December 29, 2001, with his wife, Marianne, had come to interview Pir Mubarik Ali Shah Jilani in connection with the story of the so-called shoe bomber, the Briton Richard Reid.

Our police detained and interrogated Jilani, who told them that Omar Sheikh had been very eager to meet the journalist. With this second mention of Omar Sheikh’s name, it seemed clear that he was involved.

Omar Sheikh is a British national born to Pakistani parents in London on December 23, 1973. His early education was in the United Kingdom, although he also spent four years at Lahore’s prestigious Aitchison College. He then went to the London School of Economics (LSE) but dropped out before graduation.

It is believed in some quarters that while Omar Sheikh was at the LSE he was recruited by the British intelligence agency MI6. It is said that MI6 persuaded him to take an active part in demonstrations against Serbian aggression in Bosnia and even sent him to Kosovo to join the jihad. At some point he probably became a rogue or double agent.

On his return from Bosnia he came to Pakistan, then had guerrilla training in Khost in Afghanistan. In 1994 he was arrested in India as part of a gang which kidnapped four Western tourists. He was released in 1999 as part of a deal to secure the safety of passengers aboard a hijacked Indian airliner.

After his release Omar Sheikh settled in Lahore but visited Afghanistan on four occasions to train operatives. He claims that during these visits he met Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, and that although he was not a permanent member of al-Qaeda he helped to finance it through ransom money generated from kidnappings.

In January 2002 Sheikh was informed that the journalist Pearl had turned up at the offices of extremist organisations in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. He arranged a meeting with Pearl at which the two exchanged telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

It was at this meeting that an idea cropped up in Omar Sheikh’s twisted mind. He would kidnap Pearl to pressure the US Government to change its policies on Guantanamo Bay.

We had been looking for Omar Sheikh since the e-mails, but at first he could not be traced, although the police did arrest some of his friends and relatives.

Finally, on February 5, 2002, Omar Sheikh surrendered and under interrogation revealed that when his family members were arrested he became desperate. He phoned an accomplice in Karachi named Hussein and told him to release Daniel Pearl. He claimed he was then told that Daniel Pearl had been killed.

Although Omar Sheikh confessed in detail to having masterminded and arranged the kidnapping, he was adamant that he had not ordered the murder and that Pearl had been killed against his instructions.

 
NI_MPU('middle');
At first I could not understand why Omar Sheikh surrendered to the police. Why didn’t he escape? Only after all the pieces had been put together did I realise that Omar Sheikh had panicked because the situation had spiralled out of his control. He didn’t realise that the people he had enlisted to help in the kidnapping were hardcore criminals who wouldn’t necessarily take instructions from him. He was now trying to save himself, thinking that by surrendering he might be treated leniently.

On February 21, 2002, the horrifying videotape of Pearl’s murder was released. It didn’t show the faces of his murderers.

Then in May 2002 we arrested someone named Fazal Karim, a militant activist. When we interrogated him we discovered that he was involved in Pearl’s slaughter. He also told us that he knew where Pearl was buried.

He was asked how he knew. Chillingly, he said he knew because he had actually participated in the slaughter by holding one of Pearl’s legs. But he didn’t know the name of the person who had actually slit Pearl’s throat. All he could say is that this person was “Arab-looking”.

He led us to the small house in a neighbourhood in Karachi where Daniel Pearl had been held captive. He then took us to a plot of land near by and told us where he was buried. We exhumed the body and found it in ten badly decomposed pieces. Our doctors stitched the pieces back together as best as they could.

The man who may have actually killed Pearl or at least participated in his butchery, we eventually discovered, was none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, al-Qaeda’s No 3. When we later arrested and interrogated him, he admitted his participation.

In July 2002 an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan gave Omar Saeed Sheikh the death penalty. The case is currently on appeal. Daniel Pearl’s murder was one of many terrorist acts in Pakistan after 9/11, but it was particularly gruesome. May his soul rest in peace.




Fra den pakistanske presidentens memoarer III

The wanted man, the Heathrow plot and the 7/7 bombers


SINCE shortly after 9/11, when many members of al-Qaeda fled Afghanistan and crossed the border into Pakistan, we have played cat and mouse with them. The biggest of them all, Osama bin Laden, is still at large at the time of this writing, but we have caught many, many others.

Some are known to the world, some are not. We have captured 689 and handed over 369 to the United States. We have earned bounties totalling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of “not doing enough” in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the Government of Pakistan.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) was one of the most sought-after terrorists and featured prominently on the FBI’s “most wanted” list. A Kuwaiti-born Iranian national, KSM had most of his schooling in Kuwait and then attended college in North Carolina in 1984. From there he transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was a member of what is known as the “Afghan alumni” terrorist network. Its sole reason for existence was to kill as many Americans as possible, anywhere, anyhow.

In 1993 KSM spearheaded the attempt to blow up New York’s World Trade Centre, along with his nephew Ramzi Yousef. Next, they plotted to blow up about a dozen airliners flying from South-East Asia to the United States on the same day. They also planned to dispatch a suicide pilot to crash into the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. This was called the Bojinka Operation. None of these plans materialised, however, because Ramzi Yousef was arrested in Pakistan in 1995 and handed over to the United States, shortly before he could pull off the operation. Other conspirators were arrested, but KSM managed to get away.

In the years that followed, before we arrested him in Pakistan, he devised al-Qaeda’s most audacious plans, including the September 11 attacks.

During his interrogation we discovered that as early as 2002 he had been working on plans to attack other London targets including Heathrow airport. Another leading terrorist had been told by KSM to carry out reconnaissance of, and prepare a plan to attack, Heathrow airport. After initial planning he also suggested Canary Wharf as an additional possible target.

The Heathrow plot was to be staged first. Al-Qaeda planned to use airports and airlines of the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Malta to attack Heathrow because security at these airports and in their aircraft was lax. Al-Qaeda also decided not to use too many Arab hijackers to avoid suspicion.

Instead it planned to use hardened European Muslim veterans of the Bosnian jihad and even Afghans. It asked Hazim al-Shair (killed in Saudi Arabia in 2004), the head of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, to recruit the pilots who would take over the hijacked airliners. Failing that, he should send students to flying schools. They would select flights that landed at Heathrow at about the same time.

The signal for the hijackers to act would be the “fasten seatbelts” sign when it was switched on before landing. For weapons they would use the stainless steel cutlery on the plane as well as broken alcohol bottles. They hoped to crash the aircraft into the various buildings of Heathrow. (Ac- cording to KSM, another important al-Qaeda operative, Khallad bin Attash, suggested at a later stage in the planning that they change the target from Heathrow to some place in Israel but KSM did not agree.) All this information was passed on to the British authorities and fortunately the attack on Heathrow never came to fruition. This was one of our many hidden successes.

We later captured an associate of KSM and gave the British direct access to him. This would later reveal a link with Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the people who were to carry out the suicide attacks on London’s underground system on July 7, 2005. This information about Siddique and Tanweer was not shared with us until July 28, 2005, three weeks after the attacks in London and despite the fact that Siddique and Tanweer had been spotted 17 months earlier.

 
NI_MPU('middle');
When KSM started his life as a terrorist he was not with al-Qaeda; he had his own network. During much of the 1990s KSM first tried to maintain his operational autonomy and resisted swearing allegiance to any terrorist leader, because he thought of himself as being in the same mould as Osama bin Laden. But after the failure of Bojinka and the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, he decided to develop closer ties with al-Qaeda.

In 1996, after Osama bin Laden had moved back to Afghanistan, KSM met him in Tora Bora. He told Osama about his role in the bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993 and the Bojinka Operation. KSM presented the idea of 9/11 to Osama bin Laden, but Osama vetoed it, asking KSM to join al-Qaeda first. Wishing to retain his independence, KSM refused.

In 1998 or 1999, perhaps persuaded by Abu Hafs al-Masri — now known to the world by his alias, Mohammad Atef — Osama bin Laden approved the plan for 9/11, though of course at that time the exact date could not have been determined. As soon as KSM learnt that Osama was on board, he brought his family from Qatar to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The plan for 9/11 was kept secret between Osama bin Laden, Atef and KSM. Intelligence sources indicate that by 2000 Mullah Omar probably had a fair idea that largescale operations on American soil were planned, but he did not know any details. It is also said that he was not happy about it but apparently could do nothing. Mohammad Atef and Osama bin Laden shortlisted the operatives for 9/11 and asked KSM to select the best of them. Al-Qaeda’s shoora council, or consultative committee, approved the plan in August 2001.

On September 21 or 22, 2001, Osama bin Laden recalled KSM to Afghanistan, even though KSM wanted to stay where he was. After analysing the suicide hijackings, they both got involved in the defence of Afghanistan and the transfer of their families to Pakistan.

Having been tipped off, our intelligence agents spotted an associate of KSM at Islamabad international airport on the morning of February 28, 2003. He was scheduled to meet KSM that evening. Our source informed us that they would be using two houses on Peshawar Road, Rawalpindi. A plan was immediately drawn up to arrest them alive. The problem was that our source was unfamiliar with the area and knew the houses only by sight. But by sheer ingenuity, coupled with a deep familiarity with the area, our agents were able to identify the houses on the basis of simple descriptions. At 1.45 the next morning, they surrounded the houses. The entrance doors were broken down and our agents rushed in, brandishing weapons and shouting. In one of the houses a man on the ground floor, taken by surprise, immediately pointed upward and said: “They are up there.”

Without breaking their momentum our agents ran upstairs and found KSM and his accomplice Mustafa al-Hawsawi with loaded Kalashnikovs beside them. When KSM managed to pick up his Kalashnikov, one of our officers tried to wrest it from his hand; the gun went off and a bullet hit and injured the officer. But before KSM and Mustafa could do further damage, they were overpowered and arrested. It had been a smooth, quick operation. We kept KSM in custody for three days, during which time we interrogated him fully.

Once we were done with him and had all the information we wanted, we handed him over to the United States Government.

© Pervez Musharraf 2006. Extracted from In The Line of Fire, published by Simon & Schuster at £18.99. Available from The Times BooksFirst at £17.09 (0870 1608080,


Fra den pakistanske presidentens memoarer II

mere følger:

All hell broke loose. It went dark


THE events of December 2003 put me in the front line of the war on terror and are part of my reason for writing this book now, while I am still fighting.

On December 14, I landed from Karachi at Chaklala Air Force Base, about 2.5 miles from Army House in Rawalpindi, six miles from Islamabad.

My aide-de-camp met me with two pieces of news: Pakistan had beaten India in a polo match, and Saddam Hussein had been caught. I made my way home to Army House. I was talking to my military secretary when I heard a loud, though muffled, thud behind us.

All four wheels of my car left the road and we shot quite some distance up in the air. Though the sound of the explosion was muffled by the armour plating of the car, I knew instinctively that it was a bomb. I knew too that it was a huge bomb, because it had lifted the three-ton Mercedes clean off the road. I looked back and saw a pall of smoke, dust and debris on the bridge that we had just sped over.

When I entered Army House, about 500 yards away, I found my wife, Sehba, and my mother sitting in the family lounge. Sehba saw me and started to ask what the explosion had been about. My mother’s back was to the door, and she didn’t realise that I had arrived. I put my fingers to my lips and motioned to Sehba to come out of the room, lest my mother hear and become terribly upset, as any mother would. In the corridor, I told Sehba that it had been a bomb meant to kill me.

People had barely stopped chattering about this assassination attempt when — on December 25 — there was yet another one.

After addressing a conference, I left for Army House at about 1.15pm. My chief security officer, Colonel Ilyas, and my aide-de-camp, Major Tanveer, were in the lead car of my motorcade. Next came the escort car. I was in the third car with my military secretary.

We crossed the fateful bridge, which was still under repair after the bomb blast, and reached a gasoline pump on the right. In front of the pump there was an opening in the middle of the two-way road for U-turns. The oncoming traffic had been blocked. There was a policeman standing at the opening.

I noticed that though all the oncoming traffic was facing straight toward us, a Suzuki van was standing obliquely, as if to drive into the opening to get to my side of the road.

Reflexively, I turned and looked over my right shoulder at the van, as one does when one sees something odd. Then I looked straight ahead.

It all took a split second. Hardly had I turned my head back when there as a deafening bang and my car was up in the air again.

All hell broke loose. There was smoke; there was debris; there were body parts and pieces of cars. Vehicles had been blown to smithereens, human beings ripped to pieces. It turned dark, and we couldn’t see anything. It was the middle of the afternoon, but it seemed like dusk.

Jan Mohammad, my admirable driver, reflexively put his foot on the brake. I shouted to him in Urdu: “Dabaa, dabaa” — “drive, drive.”

He floored the accelerator but had gone only about 100 yards when we came to another gasoline pump. Again there was a horrendous bang. Again all hell broke loose. The first explosion had come from our right rear; this one came straight on from the immediate right front.

 
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Something big and very heavy hit the windshield. I don’t know what it was, but it made a big dent in the bulletproof glass.

Once again my car took off. Again there were human parts, car parts, debris, smoke and dust — and a lot of noise. Again it went dark. It seemed as if midnight had come at noon.

My car’s tyres had blown. Again I shouted: “Dabaa, dabaa. Hit the accelerator. Let’s get out of here.” The car lurched forward on its rims and got us to Army House.

Sehba had heard the horrific explosions and had run out. When she saw the first car — spewing smoke, filled with holes and plastered with human flesh — she started screaming. She screamed and screamed. I had never seen her do that before.

It was understandable hysteria but I think it helped to get the shock out of her system. It also diverted my mind and the minds of others with me. I took her inside. I sat with her and told her: “Look at me, I am all right, everything is all right.”

All in all, I was told, fourteen people had been killed. Three of our people had been injured. The poor policeman standing at the gap between the two roads had come in front of the first suicide van and been blown to bits. A police van had stopped the second suicide bomber from hitting my car by ramming into his vehicle. The van had blown up, killing all five policemen.

The first suicide bomber had hit the nine-inch-high divider between the roads and rolled back, probably because he had made a cold start with a heavy, bomb-laden vehicle. If the police hadn’t blocked the oncoming traffic, God alone knows how many more would have been killed.

We later discovered that there was supposed to be a third suicide bomber to attack me frontally. For some reason he didn’t materialize.

© Pervez Musharraf 2006

Extracted from In The Line of Fire, published by Simon & Schuster at £18.99.


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